Sounds Like Hammersmith & Fulham (SLHF) is a major free music development programme for aspiring musical artists aged 18-25, developed in partnership with Hammersmith & Fulham Borough and funded by the Mayor of London’s London Borough of Culture Awards. Over a span of 10 months, 12 artists were offered workshops, one-on-one mentoring from HQI's resident experts, access to HQI's music and editing studios, and a grant of £1000 to support their final projects. The programme culminated in a showcase of work, presented to an invited audience from media and music industries.
In our pursuit to reimagine music development, we prioritised conceptual thinking, professional development, and a multidisciplinary approach during our 10-month educational focus. We identified these areas as critical catalysts for creativity, which we found to be conspicuously absent in the existing music educational landscape. They do exist within art schools and technology hubs, but these valuable insights are often beyond the reach of those pursuing careers in music.
To address this, we invited some of the UK’s most distinguished educators to share their insights through small group workshops. This included Dr Rebecca Fiebrink, a professor at the Creative Computing Institute at UAL, the viral 'Yellow Squares' phenomenon Elijah, Mercury Music Nominated Artist and Producer Dave Okumu, as well as respected film directors, vocal coaches, sound designers, and more
SLHF also featured a series of public masterclasses on diverse topics, from AI to world-building and design. These classes were led by industry pioneers such as musician Mykki Blanco, film composer Seb Gainsborough (Vessel), electronic musician Gaika, Manchester Collective co-founder Rakhi Singh, Spike Art Magazine editor Dean Kissick, renowned set designer Gary Card, Sander Dieleman from Google Deepmind, and Aphex Twin’s graphic designer Paul Nicholson, who made his first public speaking appearance in our programme. There will be links soon to watch full-length videos of our six talks.
The journey for our 12 artists has only just begun, and we eagerly anticipate their progression post-programme. The 10-month format has fostered a strong community spirit, and we are delighted to see new friendships and creative partnerships being formed during their time at HQI. This burgeoning creative community is one of the enduring legacies of SLHF.
On the 31st of August 2023, at the iconic former BBC Television Centre, we will showcase an original film highlighting these newfound relationships, revealing the reality of being young and pursuing a music career in London - a task often completed behind closed doors while seeking a sense of community in a city where nurturing spaces are increasingly scarce.
For the organisers, this programme represents what can be achieved when artists, local authorities, and commercial partners unite with a shared vision. It's a testament to our collective efforts to support London’s emerging artists during a time when the industry struggles to provide adequate backing. Together, we are committed to preserving our city's reputation as a global innovator in contemporary and popular music.
Sounds like Hammersmith & Fulham is the springboard for the delivery of a ten-year programme of cultural development in the borough. The focus is young people, creating the opportunity for long-term change through innovative arts and cultural provision, using music as a medium. The programme is a catalyst for change, providing opportunities to foster and facilitate collaboration between music professionals and people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities. It is being delivered in two phases – the first for 14-18 year olds by the Tri-Borough Music hub, with the second for 18-25 year olds set to start in Nov 2022 and delivered by HQI Foundation.
Sounds like Hammersmith & Fulham is funded by a Cultural Impact Award as part of the Mayor of London’s London Borough of Culture programme.
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